Follow The Money

In a country where corruption is so endemic like Nigeria, one way to uphold transparency and hold officials to account is to closely monitor what government at all levels earn in revenues and how they are spent. This section aims to provide links to databases and resources that will help you monitor budgets, uphold accountability and enhance public scrutiny.

  • BUDGET OFFICE – The Budget Office of the Federation is an agency of the Nigerian government established to provide budget function, implement budget and fiscal policies of the Federal Government of Nigeria. It is a key resource for any reporter trying to report on government’s accountability. Here you can download government budgets, budget details, budget implementation reports, Nigeria’s fiscal framework and a citizen’s guide to understanding the budget. Understanding the budget is a first step in following the money and it is recommended that you explore this website thoroughly. It also has an archive of old budgets.
  • FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE – The website of the Federal Ministry of Finance is useful for two important documents – budget report by quarters and revenue distribution to the three tiers of government in Nigeria. The links to this documents are right in the centre of the site.
  • FEDERAL INLAND REVENUE SERVICE – The Federal Inland Revenue Service is the tax administration agency of the Federal Government. It collects personal income, value added, corporate and other forms of taxes for the federal government. To hold the federal government accountable, you must pay attention to how much this agency is collecting for government with a view to now following up on how your tax naira are spent. This link leads you to tax revenue statistics by the agency so you can question how these monies are spent.  You can find important documents such as tax circulars, tax collection guidelines, value added tax, withholding taxes and others here. It is a key website for any reporter following up on utilization of tax revenues.
  • ACCOUNTANT GENERAL OFFICE – The Office of the Accounting-General of the Federation is an agency established under Civil Services re- organization Decree No. 43 of 1988 and is responsible for the overall management of all receipt and payments of the Federal of the Republic of Nigeria. The Office is headed by Accountant-General of the Federation who is the chief accounting officer for the receipts and payments of account of the federation. In the publications section of the site, you will find several reports of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) which distributes federal revenues to all tiers of government. The reports tell you how much each local government, state and the federal government gets each month. Also on the page, you will links to annual reports and financial statements of the federal government.
  • REVENUE MOBILISATION ALLOCATION AND FISCAL COMMISSION – The Commission derives its powers and constitutional functions from paragraph 32 of Part I of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.  It monitors accruals into and disbursement of revenue from the Federation Account; review from time to time the revenue allocation formulae and determines the remuneration appropriate to political office holders, including the President, Vice-President, Governors, Deputy Governors, Ministers, Commissioners, Special Advisers, Legislators and the holders of the offices mention in Section 84 and 124 of the Constitution. This is a very important for journalists and citizens. It contains information about revenue distribution and remuneration packages for political, public and judiciary office holders. For instance, it contains report of revenue allocation formula here and remuneration packages whose links you can find on the home page.
  • CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA – The website of the Central Bank of Nigeria contains a lot of information that can enhance your capacity to hold government and its officials accountable. For instance, this publication page links you to monthly, quarterly and annual reports of the bank which provides details about government revenues and expenditures, fiscal policies, debt servicing and other economic issues. There are other important documents as well.
  • DEBT MANAGEMENT OFFICE – The DMO was established on 4th October, 2000 to centrally coordinate the management of Nigeria’s debt, which was hitherto being done by a myriad of establishments in an uncoordinated fashion.
  • AUDITOR GENERAL OFFICE – The Auditor-General for the Federation operates within the framework of the Constitution enforcing accountability and responsibility in Ministries and Extra-Ministerial Developments or any other person or authority entrusted with public funds. It ensures prudent disbursement and utilization of public funds, manpower resources and other public properties, using audit techniques. Unfortunately, this platform is bare at this time, but you can keep checking. You never know, the agency might start uploading its audit reports of government agencies. But in the meantime, you can look up the office’s contacts with a view to visiting physically to requesting audit reports and other info.
  • TRANSPARENT NIGERIA – Transparent Nigeria is an organization dedicated to publicizing the amount and use of Nigeria’s public funds. It aims to bring the use of public funds to light, and in the process, “create for Nigeria a clear path to a better tomorrow”. You can find here how public servants in federal and state governments spend public funds, get details about infrastructural projectscompensation public servants receive, and even government budgets. You can also find snapshots of federal revenues since 2008.
  • OPEN SPENDING – OpenSpending is a project operated by the Open Knowledge Foundation, an international non-profit organization which aims to “to track every government financial transaction across the world and present it in useful and engaging forms for everyone from a school-child to a data geek”. Find here the interesting way Nigeria’s budget 2013 has been mapped.
  • REVENUE WATCH INSTITUTE – Revenue Watch is a non-profit policy institute and grant making organization that promotes the effective, transparent and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources for the public good. It provides transparency snapshot of Nigeria’s extractive industries here detailing how much the country earns from crude oil and other minerals.
  • BUDGIT – BudgiT creatively presents government’s data in an interactive format or infographic displays “to stimulate citizens’ interests around public data and hence trigger discussions towards better governance”. Find budgets and other government data as info graphics here. You can request these data and upload to your site.
  • FOLLOW THE MONEY – Follow the Money is a nonprofit initiative that uses open data in advocating for aid, while also tracking the aid by using creative technologies and tools.